Friday, April 10, 2015

And Another Thing

This is an acrylic medium transfer
onto painted canvas of an old black
and white photograph.
I have been diligently cleaning both my office and my studio (yes, I am lucky to have two separate rooms!) As I sort files and fabrics, I am focused on what type of work I want to concentrate on as I go forward. By framing my sorting that way, I am able to acknowledge, for example, a techniques book that I have loved and re-read numerous times over the years, but that, realistically, is not something I plan to work with moving forward.

It is empowering to focus my energies and claim the many unfinished pieces and exciting work I plan to create, while also letting go of pieces I will never finish (they sometimes get upcycled into another form), and passing along books or fabric to someone else who is passionate to use them right now!
The throw-away remainder of a Polaroid transfer

In sorting through my stack of Polaroid transfers that I was preparing with mats to list on etsy, I found the image at left, me in France many moons ago. This print is what remains on the Polaroid film after the image has been transferred to another surface. Much of the color is gone, often leaving a faded looking and intriguing after image. I mention it because, in my last post, I was showing you how I alter old photographs by scratching them up and adding color back to the surface.

This image has been altered by scratching with a sharp, thin awl, which you can see best if you look at the edge around the right-hand shoulder and head area. The background was altered using a Q-tip dipped in bleach, spread over the area to be changed, then rinsed off. Bleach can be used with a spray bottle, as well, or in the form of a bleach gel as found in many cleaning products. Just make sure you have good ventilation, gloves and an area that is easy to wipe down. Better yet, do it outside when the weather is nice!

To complete the image for use in collage, I peel away the thick paper backing from photographs. By removing the extra paper, the photograph becomes more pliable, like a piece of fabric. It is easier to keep flat if you are using glue to adhere it, fun to machine stitch in place onto another surface, and thin enough not to make your fingers bleed if you are hand stitching it down.

Now, go immediately to your studio and play! Can't wait to hear what you've done with these ideas. I'll be in touch when I find more altered images in my cleaning.

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